This past spring break, 22 students, two professors from PUC, and five parents, went to serve in Kenya. They traveled to Kensington Hall Oloosinon Girls Secondary School (with about 150 students) to deliver 18 laptop computers and a projector. PUC students trained five out of eight teachers on how to use the laptops since most of the teachers were unfamiliar with computers but were eager to learn. Professor of Biology Floyd Hayes organized this mission trip for the fourth time and shared that his favorite memory from this trip was seeing the joy in the eyes of the teachers as they learned how to use their laptop computers. 10 of the computers will be in the computer lab they planned to set up before the students returned in April. Computer training will be a game-changer for the students, providing them with crucial skills that will help them find jobs and interact with a complex modern society.
A laptop was also donated to a clinic where the group constructed the foundation of a new building at the Africa Mission Services Community Health Clinic and Birth Center. Nursing Professor Nicolette Piaubert and PUC students assisted in delivering five babies at the clinic- one baby was named Nicolette, and another was named Christie in honor of nursing student Christie Sumner. Several students assisted Dr. John Hiss and his wife Rita, a nurse (and parents of PUC student Nathan Hiss), with a few dozen patients in the clinic’s outpatient offices.
During the trip, PUC students hosted Vacation Bible School for four days, where they enjoyed teaching and interacting with 75 students and witnessing 13 of those students baptized by Pastor Vuong Tran.
The group also had the chance to spend two and a half days on safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, observing thousands of mammals plus many interesting reptiles and birds. “The highlight was seeing the big cats, including a few dozen lions, three cheetahs, and two leopards. The Maasai Giraffes and African Bush Elephants were also spectacular,” said Hayes. “This was my fourth trip to Kenya, and each time, I experience new sights and sounds. As a wildlife biologist, observing the iconic wildlife of Africa up close and personal has been the highlight of my career. I always feel like I’m in heaven! But not quite. It’s not safe to walk among the big animals, so I look forward to walking safely among them in heaven.”
With this being the fourth mission trip Professor Hayes organized, he shared that this one was different from the previous trips in that they donated laptop computers to a school. “Mission trips provide a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with people from another culture to learn how much we share in common and to realize how variable our opportunities are. I hope the students will realize how fortunate they are to have so many opportunities that are unavailable to many people who live in impoverished communities. That they will become more sensitive to the needs of those people, and that they will take advantage of the opportunities they have in life to help make the world a better place for others.”
It’s incredible to see the impact these mission trips give our students. To watch them lead and serve with love is an amazing sight, and we could not be more proud of the group that went to Kenya this past spring break. “I highly recommend participating in PUC’s homeless ministries, going on at least one mission trip, and becoming a student missionary in a developing country,” said Hayes. “Mission service is a life-transforming experience!”